AUSTIN, Texas -- Jeff Mateer, President Donald Trump's nominee for federal judge and a top official in the Texas attorney general's office, has come under fire after CNN reported Wednesday that he called transgender children evidence of Satan's plan and argued that gay marriage would lead to bestiality and multiple-partner weddings.
The quotes from Mateer were taken from two 2015 speeches given while he was general counsel for Liberty Institute, a legal advocacy group that operates from a conservative Christian perspective and is now known as First Liberty Institute.
In a May 2015 speech on "The Church and Homosexuality," Mateer said acceptance of same-sex marriage could lead to disturbing changes in accepted matrimonial practices, CNN said.
"Why couldn't four people want to get married? Why not one man and three women? Or three women and one man?" he asked. "I mean, it's disgusting.
"There are people who marry themselves. Somebody wanted to marry a tree. People marrying their pets. It's just like -- you know, you read the New Testament and you read about all the things and you think, 'Oh, that's not going on in our community.' Oh yes it is. We're back to that time where debauchery rules," CNN quoted Mateer as saying.
He also criticized Colorado parents who sued a school for refusing to let their transgender daughter use the girl's bathroom.
"Now, I submit to you, a parent of three children who are now young adults -- a first-grader really knows what (is) their sexual identity? I mean, it just really shows you how Satan's plan is working and the destruction that's going on," Mateer said.
In a separate speech in November 2015, CNN reported that Mateer expressed support for conversion therapy, which seeks to change a person's sexual orientation, often through religious means -- a practice that leading psychiatric, medical and pediatric organizations have criticized as harmful.
Mateer criticized California and New Jersey for banning conversion therapy, which he described as "biblical counseling" at a conference hosted by Pastor Kevin Swanson, who preaches that the biblical punishment for homosexuality is death, CNN said.
"And if you're giving conversion therapy, that's been outlawed in at least two states and then in some local areas, so they're invading that area," Mateer said.
On Sept. 7, Trump nominated Mateer, the top executive in Attorney General Ken Paxton's office, to be a U.S. district judge in Plano.
Senate confirmation is needed before Mateer can take a lifetime appointment as a federal judge. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not yet acted on his nomination.
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